I plan to give Robert Goldstein a firm handshake some day

image Handshakes are important because they tell me a lot about a person. In all my years, I’ve never been disappointed by anyone who has given a firm, enthusiastic handshake (not counting election years.) My father told me never trust someone who doesn’t offer their hand, or if the hand they offer is limp or unengaged.

“Either way, chances are they aren’t the kind of person you can trust with an agreement or respect in a disagreement.”

In the blogging world, we rarely get the chance to shake hands in person. We do it with our words — in what we say in our posts, what we share, how we comment and reply. And though I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure of shaking the hand of Robert Goldstein, I’m certain it would be the kind my father would approve of and respect. Until a couple of weeks ago, Robert was a fellow nominee for Performance of the Year in The Public Blogger’sA Star is Born” competition. He was one of the first nominees I gravitated to because, in addition to his talent as an artist and writer, it was immediately clear that he was a man with a firm grasp on many of the virtues I respect. He is a humanitarian at heart, constantly offering insightful pieces and perspectives on what it means to be human — and how to stay that way in a world that often seems to challenge that notion.

So when I received the following message from Robert, I was especially honored:

Hi Ned, I have created the “Respect Award” for fellow bloggers who consistently reach out to other bloggers, offer support, are kind, struggle to understand differences in people, and who treat themselves and other people with kindness and respect. This is my way of saying thank you.

You have earned my respect.

— Robert

What are the rules for the Respect Award? Recipients don’t have to do anything for this award. They can choose to copy the award art created by Robert and pass it on to people who have earned their respect — or they can do nothing. The only requirement has already been met when the award is given: Being someone worthy of respect.

Though Robert is no longer in the competition, having discovered him and his work through it is something I will take away with me long after the winner is announced at the end of December. The fact that I can call him a friend makes me proud; the fact that I have earned his respect would make my father proud.

And the fact that Robert’s handshake is unquestionably a firm one goes without saying… and one I hope to share in person some day.

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

42 thoughts on “I plan to give Robert Goldstein a firm handshake some day”

  1. What a wonderful award! And honor… I will be checking out his blog. Because anyone who is worthy of YOUR respect must be worthy of mine.
    Handshakes are a way I judge people also. They say A LOT about that person. Hands in general do. It is always the first thing I look at! Rock on my friend!~

    1. Thanks, Courtney 😉 I know you will love his perspectives and art. And you’re right, hands say so much about us, from how they look to the way we move them and what we do with them when communicating. What we do with them after that is probably better left unsaid…

    1. I agree. I think the idea of celebrating respect for one another is a wonderful idea — and very much like him to get started 😉

      And yeah,thaat makes sense with Trump…

  2. I don’t know, I think that the firm handshake is just a sign that the person does physical labor, or has been working out, or a politician. Creating an opinion about someone based on how firm their hand feels – that’s just encouraging politicians and serial hand crushers.
    But congratulations on your award!

  3. I’ve never met you in person, but having read your blog for quite a while now, and the fact that you always reply to your comments, gives me no reason to question that you deserve the award.

  4. Damn you – you’ve brought a tear to my eye….and I can’t remember if I’m wearing waterproof mascara. I agree with you about the handshake, though as I am a wearer of knuckleduster rings it does present an interesting dilemma for the handshakee.

  5. Well, at least I don’t wear a thumb ring on my right hand any more – not since my near fatal mountain bike incident, that thumb is a little twisted!

  6. Tears, because I feel the same way. Except in lieu of the usual “Cyberhugs💘e” I give him, the firm handshake would be followed by my famous “LAWD I Really Needed That” Bear Hug!

    Sooooo well said…a tribute to Robert that’s beyond well deserved!


  7. I can only agree with what you said. Rob is an amazing blogger and he is a wonderful person (although I don’t know him personally, I’m pretty sure about that…).

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